Nineteen years has to mean something. Nineteen years of studying the way my mind works. Every moment of every ego state’s life, stitching it all together like an elaborate patchwork just to understand the life I’ve lived. It’s gotta mean something when I stand back at the structure I have built around my life to make it possible, to make myself productive. And when I stare at it all, I can’t help but feel a little bit selfish, with a supportive wife and brilliant therapists having helped me work my way through all of the intricacies and challenges. I still hear stories all the time of brothers and sisters with this disorder who don’t understand what’s happening to them, don’t understand how to put themselves back together again or make any sense of the wildly uncontrollable forces moving within their minds. With that feeling of almost guilt coursing through me, that got me to the place where I was ready to tell my story. In order to understand Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 1: Teardrop Road, you have to see what I was thinking when I built it. What my goals were. And what the final product gave us. Here are the opening pages of Reality. There are parts of it that make sense, parts of it that don’t. Just in reading the opening lines you can experience a bit of my life. So here it is, the beginning of the book I released only a few days ago to help sufferers like me who have to live every day with this disorder, and help me learn a little bit more about myself.
Nineteen years of therapy.
This book comes after nineteen years of intensive therapy with three of the greatest minds I have ever known. They helped me tear it all apart and slowly, meticulously put it all back together. Their expertise and over seventy years of combined experience rebuilt my broken mind and saved what was left of my sanity. This book is what I came up with after hundreds of sessions. Hundreds of hours of tears and hate, hope and dawning joy. I will not dedicate this book to them. To them I dedicate the remainder of my life and the rise of my family.
It’s the day after I have finished Volume 2 of Reality of the Unreal Mind and I am trying to put the thing into perspective. I worked thirty-hour shifts when putting that book into place. I dredged up memories and horrors that have plagued me for years, and I learned much about myself and my place in the world. As I wrote the book and came to understand my life’s complexities, I figured out what was happening with me and what I was doing during the creation of my life’s story.
This book is about DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and how life with this disorder can be lived and overcome. But this is not a book about how to abuse a child. I do not go into detail about the abuse I suffered unless it is pertinent to understanding the alternate personality it created. There are many disturbing scenes, many heartbreaking and horrifying elements, but at its core this book is about love and survival. It shows how I overcame the challenges of this disorder and how it became a boon to me instead of a curse.
If you live with this disorder, events happening around you will spark the arrival of a new kind of you. It is impossible to know from one moment to the next who you will be and how the world will look to you. I was able to capture this effect for the reader by mixing up timelines and shifting between stories. I was able to create for the reader what it is like to walk the world with this burden. When you are confused by how I laid the book out and how it is presented through the narrative, embrace that this is what it is like to suffer from DID.
Much of what I have written here is as I remember events. I have an alter who has been creating illusions and hallucinations for decades to help me cope with the abuse and the aftereffects of that abuse. So when you see something that cannot be true, there is a good chance it might not be. There is a good chance the alter Artist is creating an alternate reality for my mind to experience instead of leaving me with the truth.
This means I do not know how much of my life is truth and how much is fantasy. All I can do is rely on the people around me to help me distinguish between reality and my reality. As an example, as I sit here after having finished the climax of this book, and am writing this, my beautiful and supportive wife sits to my right. The dogs that are with me every night when I write are at my feet. And the ceiling has been ripped off to display a night sky with a creature hovering over me, which you will become very well acquainted with, named Smear, Lord of Ire.
Smear comes to me when I am lost, overwhelmed, and emotionally disturbed. I can feel the gentle puff of his wings as he hovers over my head. I can hear the wind he rides howl over me and I know I am loved and cared for by his presence.
This book at times reads like a fever dream, at times like a history book. The only way to understand the true scope and get the complete effect of this book is to read all of it as it is presented and judge the experience as a whole.
I wish you good luck on your journey through my reality. You will see things that will break your heart. You will see things that will scare you. And you will see many things that I think will give you hope.
If you know a person who is a DID sufferer, know that they are not alone. Your loved one is well cared for, and any sanity they do possess is a result of the alters who live within them.
I hope Reality of the Unreal Mind can serve as a glimpse into the life of a DID sufferer. The human mind is a wild and untamed terrain. For some it is unreal. For those who live in that existence, it is all we have. But no matter how untamed, those who find themselves in the wasteland of a shattered mind can learn to overcome. I hope this book shows that it is possible to carve out a kind of sanity that is livable and enriching.